The nasturtium is a cheerful and easy-to-grow flower! Their bold blooms and edible leaves, flowers, and seedpods make them an especially fun flower for kids to plant and a favorite companion plant in the garden. Here’s how to grow your own nasturtiums!
These lovely plants, with their unique greenery and vibrant flowers, grow well in containers or as ground cover around vegetable gardens. In fact, they are often used as a trap crop in companion planting, drawing aphids and other garden pests away from the more valuable vegetables.
- Nasturtium is a friend of: bean, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, kale, melon, pumpkin, and radish.
Pests aren’t the only thing nasturtiums attract, however. They are also a favorite of pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and their pretty fragrance makes them a good choice for cut-flower gardens, too.
Nasturtiums are grown as annual plants in most areas, though they may perennialize in frost-free zones.
Types of Nasturtiums
There are many varieties of nasturtiums, which are divided into two main types: trailing or climbing types (Tropaeolum majus) and bush types (T. minus). As their names suggest, the main difference between them is their growth habit, with trailing nasturtiums forming long vines and bush nasturtiums remaining more compact. (Bush types are also sometimes called “dwarf” nasturtiums.)
Trailing nasturtiums are a great choice for growing in a window box or hanging basket, as their vines will drape and climb beautifully. Bush nasturtiums are a better choice for smaller gardens where space is limited.
An important feature of all nasturtiums is their edibility! Nasturtiums’ leaves, flowers, and seedpods have a peppery, almost mustard-like taste, which makes them lovely as a garnish in salads. The seedpods may also be pickled and used like capers.
Check out our video to learn more about the benefits of growing nasturtiums: